Satellite may crash to Earth next week

1107-satellite-falling_full_600Just a week or so ago I blogged about an asteroid that passed close enough to come between the Earth and the Moon. Now astronomers are watching a satellite that ran out of fuel. Because there’s nothing to keep it in orbit, the Earth’s gravity will likely bring it down sometime next week!

The satellite, named GOCE, or the European Space Agency’s “Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer,” weighs 2,425 pounds.¬†Calculations have it falling to¬†Earth as early as Sunday, November 10th. The problem is no one can predict where it will fall!

What’s for certain is the satellite will break up into many pieces, but some of those pieces could fall to the earth. RedPlanet.com says some could weigh as much as 200 pounds.

This satellite is at the end of its life, but is a large piece of equipment. A day before reentry, scientists hope to pinpoint the impact to a four to five hour timeframe. Since most of the Earth is covered with water, it is not likely to crash-land in a city or highly populated area. Instead, it will likely fall in a 15-20 square yard uninhabited area.

We’ll keep you updated! -Eric

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Posted under news, space

This post was written by qni_it on November 8, 2013

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